With over 25 interactive stands to visit, over 400 delegates were treated to cooking demonstrations, learned how to extract DNA from a strawberry, found out about seafish and seaweed … and even had the chance to taste bugs!

View all the photos here.

Food and Drink Key Facts

Scotland’s food and drink industry:

•    Dynamic and growing over £14bn & Exports up 56%
•    Scottish food & drink manufacturing growth rate twice the UK average
•    Central to Scotland’s economy – supporting the whole supply chain from farmers and fishermen to local consumers and visitors.
•    Increasing importance of local food and drink (est. £600m)
•    Ambitious for the future
•    People and skills – key pillar of growth

The challenges:

•    An ageing workforce
•    An image problem
•    Skills shortages in technical disciplines e.g. food science and technology and engineering
•    Need to attract the best talent to our industry through a pipeline of employment-ready individuals
•    Retain and develop our workforce

The opportunities:

•    27,000 job openings in next 10 years at SCQF Level 7 and above
•    The long-term shift towards occupations requiring higher-level skills and qualifications is set to continue.
•    Foundation Apprenticeship in Food & Drink
•    Graduate Level Apprenticeships
•    Modern Apprenticeship Programme 12,000 pa –‘earn while you learn’
•    Skills shortages in scientific, engineering and technical disciplines – STEM

Ambition 2030

•    People and Skills – Key Pillar of Growth


What does ‘Scottish food and drink’ mean to you?

‘The variety – we have everything here in Scotland’
Tom Kitchin, The Kitchin, Chef/Owner

‘It epitomises quality, freshness and a unique sense of being’
Victor Contini, Scottish Café, Owner/Founder

‘The best larder in the world’
Andrew Radford, Timeberyard, Chef/Owner

Keynote speaker: James Withers, Chief Executive, Scotland Food and Drink

James Withers provided an inspirational keynote speech motivating delegates with the clear vision:

‘It’s 2030 and farming, fishing, food & drink is Scotland’s most valuable industry, recognised at home and abroad as a model of collaboration and a world leader in responsible, profitable growth.